Adventure 40 Cockpit 2.0

This is the second article detailing the changes Maxime and Vincent have made to the Adventure 40 initial design based on input in and on the first reveal articles.

As in the last article, I will only be covering the changes made since we published:

So if you have not read those articles, or even if it’s been a while, please at least scan through them now.

By the way, some time next winter, I intend to consolidate the Version 1 and 2 reveal articles, but for the moment I think leaving both is best since it enables all of us to see how we got here.

Final Renderings

Before we get into the cockpit details, this article will be the first using the final renderings.

I’m super excited about this since the combination of a few changes, increasing the focal length to one that feels natural to the human eye/mind, and adding a cove stripe and waterline, have revealed the Adventure 40 as the good-looking boat she always was—she only looked dumpy because of the short focal length of the earlier renderings.

And, at least for me, the flat windows in the dodger and raised area of the cabintop look much better than the wrap-around first version, a double benefit since the original curved plastic windows would also have required a lot of difficult maintenance over time.

That said, please don’t over-fixate on the details of these renderings. For example, they show a four-blade fixed prop, not because that’s what the boat will come with—over my dead body—but because (I’m guessing) that was the pre-drawn symbol that came to hand at the design office.

These kinds of things will get specified in detail when the final engineering is done while working with the builder.

With all that out of the way, let’s dig into cockpit changes:

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Nathan Moore

I am frothing at the mouth about the possibilities of this boat. Dying to see hull #1 to see if it could be the right boat for me. Thank you John for inspiring and pushing this project.

Timothy Brown

I’m really liking how this is turning out! Seems like most of the details in the design have been ironed out. I really hope a builder can be found soon.

Marc Jackson

Bravo! That cockpit looks awesome!

Mathieu Henry

A good read as always! The new renders looks very good. Perhaps in the future Maxime could find a way to share the 3D render in an online viewer so that people and pan around and explore the design?

Ignat Fialkovskiy

thanks lot for the update! Looks coming together….

Can you say more about the vane gear? I understand it will be proprietary built now? what type will it be?

P D Squire

Shaping up really well!

Particularly impressed with the wind vane. Not having to reach over the transom to change the blade is a big win. Systems often have small and large vanes for high & low winds. Unlike sails you can’t reef early so are trying to change to the smaller vane when the wind and sea have already risen. Being able to do this from within the pulpit & lifelines is a huge safety boon compared to trying to do it over and outboard of them. Alleluia!

Another couple of options for anyone wanting more solar:

  1. Transom. Yes, really. Zephyr budgets 143 Wh/day Winter to 326 Summer from it’s vertically mounted transom array*. Sea reflections help and if you’re sailing away from the morning or afternoon sun the system must really crank.
  2. Hoist a Flin kite or sail** (probably only at anchor although they’re rated to 14-28 knots so might be ok, particularly downwind). Flin panels are bifacial meaning cells on the top and bottom. They advise that capturing reflected sea light adds 20%
  3. Flip-up adjustable units on the extended pulpit. A bit cluttery so only for high demand users. At least its better than an arch because they disappear from the wind as the boat heels. An arch just presents more and more windage with heel. I share your teary aversion.

The jackline/tether system is now very convincing.

Is the mainsheet guided up and over the cabin top’s aft edge rather than through it (in a trench or tube) because something was found below that would have been fouled, or does that remain a possibility to take one block out of the system?

While optimising the dodger seats can they be curved to cup the buttocks and support the lumbar rather than flat, and can we loose the sharp edges?
Appreciate this might be tricky to

  1. design as they’ll be used facing both inboard and aft
  2. build so it can come off the mould.

but it might be possible to mould in more support & softness.

I enjoyed your recent Watt & Sea review, and its conclusion that you need a fast boat to make it worthwhile. I wondered if the A40 would be fast enough. I guess your inclusion of W&S mount support answers that question;-)

So, the execution of the original A40 idea keeps getting better and better. I really love the inboard windvane solution – great thinking!


(No affiliation with Flin)

Ignat Fialkovskiy

Well, changing vanes (or just tilting them) is indeed an important part of self steering. However it is not clear yet how high the pole is planned to be, and thus I am not sure that doing it so high is actually much safer than doing it over the transome….

Maxime Gérardin

Hi Ignat,

now that you mention it, I see the pole is represented some 10 cms higher than necessary – thank you for catching this. Anyway, think raising the hand to 1.9 meters above the cockpit floor. I guess it will be more comfortably done from the downwind aisle, rather than leaning on the pole from upwind. Also, the relative positioning of the pole and the step down to the stern will be adjusted, if it turns out to improve things.

Maxime Gérardin

Hi PD,

indeed I also have a transom-mounted PV panel in mind, but only on one of the two tilted upper surfaces – the other will likely be shaded by a ladder or something, and the lower surface is where fenders chafe. However this makes for a really small area only.
(we happened to share an anchorage with Pogo 30 Zéphyr two years ago, which opened my eye to the possibility)

And sure the seat shapes will be a bit more subtle than currently shown (think the same sort of thing the large builders generally do). From there, as John writes, making things perfect will require some cushions.

Frederick Gleason

I really like the all the improvements, including down flood protections, main sheet routing, hard top solar and the wonderful wind vane design. One very small suggestion that could be considered is a grab bar on the aft edge of the dodger (perhaps owner added) and a couple of short vertical grab bars on the aft edge of the hard dodger sides to help with transitions to and from the deck. I suppose that these details could be worked out better and further in a mockup or something that approximated the cockpit layout. Great work! Thank you for sharing it.

Maxime Gérardin

Hi Frederick,

yes we have a solution to find on how to grab the two upper-aft corners of the dodger when getting in and out of the cockpit!

Matt Marsh

I like that I can reach any of the six main winches without letting go of the tiller. Concentrating all the essential working areas within reach of one person will make life a lot easier. Shoving day guests to the stern is also a good idea; they can enjoy the sun and spray, stay out of the way, and maybe take a turn at the helm without getting caught up in jib sheets or vang tails.

The new dodger is clean and elegant. I hate flimsy sunbrella dodgers and I hate flexible clear plastic enclosures. Either do it right, with a rigid top that can support proper handrails all around, and with proper glass that stays clear, or else don’t bother at all.

Integrating the servo-pendulum vane like that is a great idea, particularly if it can be done with off-the-shelf parts from an existing and widely supported vane design. It might be worth considering a telescopic / reefable air paddle like that of the Hydrovane XT rather than exchanging air paddles for light vs. heavy wind.

Katy would ask that we fit it with dinghy davits so that short fair-weather hops can be done without deflating and rolling up the tender. It looks like that will be possible after purchase without messing things up for the vane gear, which would be impressive. Even so, on any passage with a weather risk, I’d want the dinghy rolled and stowed, which means we’ll need a spot for stowing the outboard. I often see boats with a chunk of plywood U-bolted to the pushpit rail for the dinghy outboard, which is not ideal. Will the A40 have some thought given to this?

Philip Delvoie

The idea of making the radar tower beefy enough to support a hosting arm is a great one.

Stein Varjord

Hi John,
About beefing up the radar tower to support a hoisting arm. It triggered a thought; what about joining the radar tower and the self steering pole? The self steering vane would be higher than the radar, of course. This tower would have to be located in the centre just aft of the tiller. Probably as a vertical extension of the table tiller unit? Probably fiber glass moulded as a continuation of the cockpit table/tiller island, gradually slimmer towards the top. It would properly deserve the “tower” designation. It could blend in well with the current lines, look cool and give the boat more visual identity. I think it fits very well with the novelty of the winch islands and the general cockpit layout.

The tower could, without excessive weight and windage, be quite strong and take two separate lifting arms, on universal joints, as full on “davits” for light duty coastal hops. Each arm should probably hinge quite low (?) and fold up flush with the tower. The arms lift by rope and pulleys, go to flush with the tower and would have no windage when not in use.

The tower could have attachment points for an outboard bracket, plus serve as support for a bimini? Such a tower could in sum perhaps be a far less intrusive way to get everything a stern arc can do, except for holding solar panels.

This is just an idea. I don’t know yet if I’d want it myself, but at the moment I think so…

Maxime Gérardin

Hi Stein,

at first this sounds like many functionnalities on the same tower, and so more possibilities for a screw-up. Anyway, if the radar is higher than the boom and the self-steering airfoil higher than the radar, it puts the airfoil way up and out of reach…

Eric Klem

Hi John,

I like the updates and think it should result in a functional and pleasant cockpit. I do have a few questions:

What is the reason that the cabinhouse bumps in by the big lower window? Is it to get a lead for lines here? It looks a bit weird to me and it will hold water a lot so if not really needed would be nice to get rid of.

Why are the aft sides of the hard dodger so sculpted? Is this aesthetics or another reason? The arguments for a straighter cut would be better protection for the forward end of the cockpit and making it easier to have an aft curtain.

I really like including a solar panel on the top of the dodger and you guys are right that it shouldn’t be electrically set up as a single large panel due to shading. Being able to just have a small pole on the stern also makes a lot of sense, I see a lot of arches that could be poles with a little thought. Going custom on the panel seems unfortunate but may make sense especially as panels usually last quite a long time. Some of the flexible panels now have decent power/area efficiency, I wonder whether you could find 2 of the right size for side by side mounting and build more of a backing mount plate to keep them cool and from repeatedly flexing. One thing that putting solar here does is it eliminates the possibility of putting hatches in the top of the dodger which seems to be the standard way to keep this area cool. Have you considered making the center window on the forward end opening? Even in our US northeast climate, we sometimes find that our dodger can really bake the area under it and destroy the airflow to the rest of the cockpit but opening just the center fixes it.

I am unclear how the companionway hatch works? It appears that it is a single opening cut at an angle? I have seen this done with heavy deck hatches but those are annoying when open and kind of small. I am assuming this is custom but I am not clear where the hatchboard or slider goes as it looks like it can’t go forward or aft without tilting? Maybe tilting is okay and it doesn’t run in a track but rather gets latched somehow when in place?

What are the chamfers on the forward inboard end of the cockpit seats for?


Maxime Gérardin

Hi Eric,

yes the “bump” is mainly meant to allow for the lines here. I think we’ll have to wait for the detailed window integration to get a better sense of how the whole area looks. Anyway, with flat glass windows, there must be some discontinuity with the longer curved deck line. Regarding water accumulation, I’ve checked that placing a 30° outward-tilted surface filling the spot wouldn’t impinge on the currently-represented window (!)

On the aft sides of the dodger, the reason is we have to allow for the movement of a winch handle, and must be quite liberal as long as winch positioning can evolve. But sure, after that there’s no reason to open this panel more than necessary.

Yes the center window of the dodger is opening!

The companionway hatch is a panel that tilts/lifts to horizontal then slides forward (but not represented in the model yet, we’ve simply checked we’ve enough clearance for the casing just below the deck surface).

As to the chamfers behind the helmsman’s knees, of course there will be smaller chamfers/rounds at all seatings. We represented this one because it it will have to be larger: the seating edge is not parallel to the boat but slightly turned backwards, which I think would be a small nuisance to the helming spot if not corrected by the chamfer; and the chamfer also helps when getting in and out of the cockpit.

Eric Klem

Hi Maxime,

Thanks for the response, all of that makes sense.


Philip Wilkie

Those renders are just fabulous. I am so pleased for how this is going and for all those who will end up sailing one of these.

Paul Browning

Very interesting boat design and layout that should all work well. I may well be a prospective buyer! Just a couple of questions:

First to John, re your comment about twin mainsheets. Why is this such a bad idea? We have it and I love it. It doesn’t tie up a dedicated winch all the time, but there is nearly always a winch for this most critical of sail controls, and for gybing it can be winched in really fast on two winches (ie one either side) at the same time. We have a similar arrangement with the vang, although very rarely ever use a winch on them.

Second, with reference to the earlier article “Adventure 40 Reveal—Hull, Cockpit, and Rig” from October 2022, how is the displacement/length of 149 calculated? “Light displacement” is listed as 7.4t (7400kg presumably) or 16300 lbs and length as 12.45m or 40.8ft. 7400/12.45=594.4 and 16300/40.8=399.4. Using the “heavy displacement” figure will get even higher numbers. Or is there some other naval architecture trickery used for this calculation that us mere sailors are not privy to?

Matt Marsh

DLR is the displacement in long tons divided by the cube of the waterline length in centifeet. This way of representing it has been standard since approx. 1910.
The cubic exponent is necessary because doubling the length of a boat, all else being equal, makes the boat (2 x 2 x 2) = 8 times heavier.

Screenshot 2023-08-27 062912.png
Paul Browning

Thanks very much, that provides an explanation to something that’s never made any sense to me

Paul Browning

Wow, none of those twin mainsheet issues have ever been an issue for me. Our active mainsheet is usually on the weather side on the secondary cockpit winch, unless that’s being used to furl, or maintain a furled reef in, a headsail. In that case it’s either on the primary, or temporarily jammed with a clutch and then cleated around a horn cleat and the clutch released so that it can be quickly eased in a controlled manner. The non active side is also cleated around a horn cleat for ease of release as well. Mind you the number of times it’s ever had to be released in a hurry could be counted on the fingers of an old sawmiller’s hand, but as an old dinghy sailor, it is ALWAYS ready to be released and can be, on both sides.

Compared with the previous 7:1 to a cam cleat, it’s much quicker and easier to release and and doesn’t require pulling like hell on the sheet and whacking it with a winch handle to get it out of the cleat. And is way quicker to bring in.

Nor does it require a hole in the dodger (to bring it to a cabin top winch) that squirts freezing water down the back of your neck when you cop a greenie on watch at 0300, much and all as you may need awakening at that ungodly hour. No cabin top winches on my boat!

But I greatly appreciate the explanation. And the boat does look great. And I do take your point about mainsheets not being terminated at clutches, other than temporarily. The same especially also applies to furling lines for reefed headsails; the clutch there is a very temporary measure.

Maxime Gérardin

Hi Paul,

yes the twin mainsheet setup can work (and can be adopted on the Adventure 40), as long as we keep a clear mind on how to operate it! But note that the two main drawbacks you mention of your previous system were a function of the detailed setup, not of a single mainsheet. That said, I fully agree on the poor compatibility between a dodger and cabintop winches!

Hans Christiaens

Hello John, Maxime & Vincent,
Great work so far. I’m now seriously considering the A40 as our next boat.

Did the opening hatches under the dodger not make version 2.0 or did they just not show up in the render?

Maxime Gérardin

Hi Hans,

thank you, great to hear!

These two opening ports (for others: above the galley and heads, and protected by the dodger) don’t show up, but are definitely planned!

Rick Boudah

Not a big tiller fan but maybe a hollow one with a twist knob and shaft leading to a friction mechanism like on a wheel.
This could both take up some load and allow you to let go of the tiller to quickly attend to something.

Jonathan Cohn

With all the discussions about how to plan for energy use on a cruising boat, I am curious about plans for the Adventure 40. I know the idea of it shipping with an arch seems to have fallen out of favor, What about shipping with a high output alternator? I know final fitment for the A40 is a long ways off but I was curious about the teams thinking.

Maxime Gérardin

Hi Jonathan,

yes the alternator will be high output, in fact this was specified by John long ago!

Frederick Gleason

I’ve been looking more carefully at the position of the two seats forward under the hard dodger, and the aft edge of the seat appears to align with the top aft edge of the dodger which is good. I don’t know how wide the seat is, but

The ability to change position is very helpful on long watches under self-steering, rather than being seated port or starboard looking to the center line which is the position needed for tiller steering, it might be good to be able to face forward or aft with something against your back on one of those seats with your legs pulled up on the seat. This position might be used on the leeward side or windward side depending on heal. Are the seats wide enough for this?

Also sometimes depending on conditions, you may want to move further forward away from the aft edge of the dodger, foul weather with following winds, rain dripping from the dodger roof etc. These are things that happen and we need some room to respond to find a good place to be.

Also I wonder if there is some way to simplify what I see as several boxes and angled surface behind the seat and forward under the dodger. Some of the surfaces are at different heights, and I don’t know how this impacts space below, but I think more consideration should be given to this.

Also we need to think about utility and use of the area forward under the dodger where we often keep things near at hand, binoculars, chart, navigation gear, etc. and make those surfaces work for us. Where instruments and chartplotter is going to be placed, how to appropriately route the wires inside, etc.

Inside the hard dodger is where a lot of time is going to be spent and I think the design would benefit from more thought and detail.

I now recognize that the main cabin is pulled back a couple of inches to allow lines running aft to be lead with blocks on a good base, without having shin bangers. I wonder if there is some clever way to achieve the same thing and allow the cabin to be placed in line with the for and aft elements to simplify the mold. Perhaps not.

I understand that the designer is much further along than I am in understanding the constraints, but I think this area could be improved, or at lease we can be more informed about the specific design decisions.

I expect that John has a detailed list of requirements for this area. How does this space meet those requirements?

Please note, I have said I like the improvements, earlier and am becoming fond of this boat.

Maxime Gérardin

Hi Frederick,

thank you for the input.

The watchstanding seats are approx. 65cms wide, which is voluntarily more than the width of a seated dummy facing athwartships, for just the reasons you state: being able to nest oneself, leg(s) pulled up, in the downwind seat (most femurs fit in 65cms), and also having more shelter when needed.

And yes the specifics of the place will be further optimized, as John writes!

Frederick Gleason

Thank you John and Maxime, I agree that these kinds of details are best worked out with a builder in a mockup. I also agree that standing up and moving around is necessary. I’m not suggesting to move the winch pedestals or eliminate them. I just wonder if when the time comes for mockups if good ergonomic design for facing aft, with a slightly sloped back surface and a place for your feet in a cubby hole under the winch pedestal would work with the interior requiirements? The cubby might alternatively also be used some storage perhaps. I hope this can be considered further in the mockup. I think 65cm or about 26 inches is a little tight for aft facing with legs tucked up, but a small cuddy under the pedestal might help a lot.

Also I ask if it makes any sense to have a rounded raised lip on top of the dodger roof to help guide water to the sides rather than dropping onto the winch pedestals and possibly into the seat area. This would be more of a consideration for the leeward seat area than the windward one.

Best regards, Rick

PS I am looking forward to seeing how the inside plan has changed and understanding better cockpit dodger ramifications and constraints. Should we look at some existing interior plans or will there be some more information about the interior?

Maxime Gérardin

Hi Frederick,

we need to provide anyway at least a small channel from the outer aft corner of the seat, to let water flow from the seat to the under-winchs rope storage then out. I’m not sure we can turn it into something practical, but we can give this some though.

And the raised lip at the aft edge of the dodger is already in the design!

On the interior, the previous article and its comments pointed to some substantial adjustments, but I’m afraid we won’t represent them before designing the details of the furniture, so a bit of patience will be necessary!

P D Squire

“in port we can move the boom off to one side with a guy to the forward end of the pushpit rail”

Don’t you mean “with the pre-rigged preventer” ? 😉